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I make a lot of my money as an affiliate marketer, but it’s not by doing it the way most experts are telling you to do it. I’ll show you how I do it towards the end of this article, but first FOUR TOUGH TRUTHS about affiliate marketing.
There is NOTHING for sale in this blog post. This is just my attempt to save my loyal readers time, effort and money. I want you to SUCCEED and I want you to have a long term SOLID online business.
This is my best advice on affiliate marketing:
In my opinion affiliate marketing IS NOT the place for ANY CLEAR THINKING person to start out online if the goal is to actually earn money!
For the newbie: What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing has NEVER been easy, and recently it’s been getting a lot harder. The odds, google, product owners, customers, laws, and technology are all steadily stacking against you.
Affiliate marketing is a fantastic business model, but for every 500 people taking a stab at it there are maybe a small handful making any decent return on their time and money.
To be clear, I allow affiliates to sell my products and THAT is GENIUS, but this article is for those that are considering or are already knee deep in affiliate marketing themselves WITHOUT any of their own products.
Here are Four Truths about affiliate marketing that you won’t likely see compiled ANYWHERE else online. I’m uniquely qualified to deliver this “bad news”.
I’m about to really tick off some ‘friends’ in the guru business…but that’s become normal for me these days.
1. It’s FAR EASIER to make money teaching “affiliate marketing tactics” than it is to actually make money as an affiliate!
There are a lot of “gurus” getting rich off of teaching you (especially newbies) their “simple steps” to affiliate income. Step one is almost always “build a website” and all the expenses that go with it. They know that if they teach you that step in an easy to follow fashion that you’ll have a great deal of pride in your site when it’s done. They also KNOW that it will take up to several months for you to realize that it’s not making you any significant money (this is true for 95% of their students).
It amazes me how many people will buy these “systems” and immediately offer up glowing testimonials about the beautiful website that some kind guru helped them set up. It’s strange though – the testimonials almost NEVER include any indication that any money is being made by the proud owners of these shiny new websites. Maybe that’s because NO ONE EVER SEES THE WEBSITES!
I’ll repeat: The raw truth (that ALL guru’s know) is that somewhere around 95% of all affiliate marketers aren’t making more than a few bucks per month if they are earning anything at all.
In fact if you want to get rich selling useless stuff to naive people you should set up a “Simple Ten Step System to Building Your First Website and Loading it up with Affiliate links”. If you put enough eye-candy on your website and offer a high enough commission to the “circle of gurus” you’ll make a boatload of money fast. I call it “selling out” or “taking advantage of people”, but if that’s within your moral code then go for it. The naive masses are waiting and anxious for the next $2,000 miracle course.
Ring any bells? Don’t name any names if you leave a comment, or I won’t approve your comment, but let’s get real here. We all know this is happening.
2. As an affiliate marketer you are EXPENDABLE. You are competing with two parties for attention: the product owner whose brand you are promoting and Google who considers you a content spammer. In other words you are the middle man and you WILL be cut out eventually because NEITHER SIDE LIKES HAVING YOU AROUND long term and NEITHER SIDE NEEDS YOU long term either.
From Google’s perspective they want a user (someone typing a search term into google) to have the optimal experience which means they go straight from google.com to the information they are looking for without any middle men (affiliate marketers) clogging the works.
For those selling a product (and offering affiliates a commission) it only makes sense for them to pay attention to what the top affiliates are doing and then COPY IT themselves and KEEP THE COMMISSIONS. We’ll keep the nickle and dime affiliates around, but anyone making a killing has a HUGE TARGET on their chest.
The evidence is mounting that affiliate marketers are being squeezed out. I’ve even read reports from the recent ‘Affiliate Marketing Summit’ where Google representatives are being quoted as saying things like, “affiliate marketers have served their purpose as far as we are concerned.” Look at all the google slaps, penalties, Adsense account shut downs and streams of new vague rules etc.
For those that have followed my eBay adventures it feels like Google is starting to treat affiliate marketers the way eBay started treating eBay sellers a few years ago. They claim to still like us still (sometimes), but the evidence for that stance is sorely lacking. They certainly don’t NEED us like they used to. To be clear Google DOES NOT NEED more affiliate marketers nor will they ever, and eBay DOES NOT NEED more sellers nor will they ever. To be clear though – my eBay business is BOOMING because of the non-traditional approach we take to using eBay in my business.
3. You MUST constantly be adding, testing, tweaking, adapting or your income will fade without warning.
I know of no affiliate marketers that are still having success with the strategies they were using six months ago. Affiliate marketing in my opinion has become very opportunistic, cut throat, unpredictable, and unsteady for 95% of those playing the game.
The stories of affiliate marketers going from rags to riches and then back to rags are EVERYWHERE. Show me someone that relies on their google rank for a paycheck and I’ll show you someone that won’t have a paycheck much longer. Google really enjoys flipping switches and scrambling page one results in pursuit of the perfect mix of content and end user experience.
4. Anyone selling affiliate “how to” information isn’t going to like me much any more and I’m OK with that.
There have been many big launches that I’ve sat out. I’m not winning any powerful new friends when I tell the truth like this, but I’m betting on YOU. I want you to be SMART, have SUCCESS and then tell others they can trust me and my advice. It’s a long term growth strategy that’s been working pretty well for me for almost a decade now.
OK Jim, I get it…what’s the good new about affiliate marketing?
Want to know how I earn affiliate income? The answer is hidden in this article and on this blog. It’s right in front of you, but you probably missed it so I’ll help you out…
While there are NO AFFILIATE LINKS anywhere in this article that you just read, what have I just accomplished inside of you as you’ve read this post?
Do you trust me more or less after reading this?
Are you more or less likely to buy something I endorse in my next blog post or newsletter?
Affiliate marketing done right DOES NOT involve selling to strangers in my opinion. It involves earning trust over time (it takes TIME)! It involves making gentle suggestions to friends that trust you. It involves recommending products that you genuinely believe in and stand behind. It involves having loyal followers that WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU and also have no problem with you getting a commission for your insightful endorsements.
Here’s a FANTASTIC new course on this topic form a trusted colleague of mine (and it’s only a few bucks!): Click Here to learn affiliate marketing the RIGHT way
That’s the big secret.
Not very flashy is it?
If you don’t believe me then please go buy ANY of the $1997 big launch packages from 2010 and then come back and. I’ll sound like a freekin’ genius then.
What’s next? Get your head on straight with these popular blog posts that will help clear the stinkin’ thinkin’ out of your brain.
- Success online with ANY business DOES NOT START WITH Building a website – it starts by growing a loyal audience
- Starting small is GREAT because it WORKS and you’ll get BIG fast enough!
- One way to grow your audience
- Here’s a new course on doing affiliate marketing the RIGHT way
And for goodness sakes leave me a comment (link is at the top)! Guru’s don’t like me anymore so I’m really hoping you still do! ;0)